Friday, April 12, 2019

A Woman's Strength #UseYourWords

Welcome to April's Use Your Words blogging challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:
power ~ woman ~ strength ~ endurance ~ forever ~ trials

It was submitted by: (Stacy, these words were AWESOME!! Thank you!!)

One thing, that I have heard a lot, especially these last few years, is that I have so much strength and endurance. Not necessarily physical strength and endurance *points to the cane I utilize so I cut back on the number of times I fall*, but strength of mind and endurance of life trials. When I was younger, I heard about a different kind of strength. I was so strong and powerful for a woman/girl. As annoyed as I would get at those comments, I wish I were still hearing them. I wish I could hear them forever. I wish I had never lost that physical strength, and I wish I had appreciated it more, and taken it for granted a lot less. 

I just want to start by saying.... I really hate stereotypes, especially ones based on gender. I hate women being thought of as weak and men as strong, simply because of their gender. I know some strong women. I know some weak men. I know people of all different abilities. I have seen weak people become strong, and vice versa. So, I really wish that stereotype would stop. Really, I have zero use for any stereotypes. For pretty much every stereotype that exists, I have met at least one person, that proves it to be false. So, why do we keep stringing them along through the generations?!

Who knows. I am the last person to ask about why things are the way they are. I often struggle to grasp why things are happening as they are, or why people aren't stopping certain things, and are allowing other things to happen. I am honest so darn clueless. I am also not some super human. Have I endured a lot of trials? Sure. Have I survived them all? Yep. Am I strong because of it? Pretty much. Guess what?! I am pretty sure the same would be true about anyone reading this. I think we can all handle way more than we ever give ourselves credit for. They say we don't know how strong we are, until we are forced to be strong. I agree.

As a high school kid, had you told me I would one day be thirty-six with two angels in Heaven, a stubborn five year old, and no other kids happening ever... I would have told you NO WAY! First of all, I never thought I would lose a child, let alone two, and whenever I thought about losing a child, I thought there was NO WAY I could survive that. I was also convinced I was going to have six or more kids. Not going to lie, I am kinda glad I was wrong on that last part. Could you imagine six Gigis?! I promise you, I am not that strong! LOL That girl keeps me on the toes, the same as six kids, and she is just one little girl. Phew. Five others?! Goodness gracious.

As for my angels in Heaven. It happened and I survived. Barely at times, but I did survive. That is what we do. We survive. We handle it. We push forward. It is just what I have been doing, since my daddy passed in September. I did not want to go forward. I wanted to go back. I wanted him back. I wanted a do over. I wanted to hug him more, and tell him so many things, and make sure he knew I loved him. Life doesn't work that way, though, so you just keep going. I promise everyone who hears about something I have gone through, and thinks... I could never survive that. You could, and you will, if it ever happens to you.

It is funny, because I am not the strong, young kid I once was. No way I could lift weights the way I used to, or play ball the way I once did, or even walk the way I used to. That girl is gone. At least on the outside. On the inside, she is still here. I don't know that she will ever surface again, however, I think she probably would, if Gigi were ever in danger. I am pretty sure I could move mountains for that girl. I may die immediately after, but I would make sure Gigi was fine first. It is the mom in me. Yes, things happened, and my outward strength deteriorated, but my strength of will, is still inside me.

Honestly, I used to be such a ferocious advocate for so many things. These days, I am just a housewife, that tries to push through the day to day, and hopes for a miracle one day. However, occasionally my advocate button gets pressed, and I come out with a mighty roar and just as fierce as ever. I am much more tired afterwards, but not before I speak my peace. It is physically exhausting, but really good for my soul. It reminds me that I am still the same me I was before I got sick. She just does not get to come out as often as before. 

Also, I know I am biased, but men really need to stop saying women are weak. Listen, I was on bed rest for nearly two years. My muscles were done. I was weak. I was sick. I still grew a human being inside of my abdomen, and then with atrophied muscles and all, I pushed her out. All. By. Myself. Without any medicine. I would love to see a man do that. Seriously. I'll wait.

Seriously though, no gender is stronger than the other. We are all awesome. We should all coexist peacefully. Truly. I really hope and wish for that. I am so tired of the hate and judgement and racism and sexism. Tired of it all. I want equality. I want mutual support and admiration. I want respect. Maybe one day.

I do hope a day comes, when a young lady gets told.... Wow. You have so much strength!... They are referring to the strength of her character, and not her ability to carry all the groceries in, in one trip.

Seriously though... Can we all agree?! One trip with groceries or die?! 

Okay. Enough of me rambling on. Get yourself a drink and go check out the rest of the Use Your Words posts.

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Monday, April 8, 2019

Cleaning out my Closet #BlogWithFriends

Welcome to April's Blog with Friend's Round-up. Each month, a group of bloggers choose a theme, and then create posts based on the theme. The post can be anything the blogger wants it to be. You will find any range of things, from poetry, recipes, short stories, lists, essays, DIY projects, crafts, and anything in between. There tends to be a large variety of post types, and I like to participate whenever possible.

For this month, we chose the theme Spring Cleaning. I am sure, from the title of my post, you are expecting advice on cleaning closets, or a progress report on my Spring Cleaning of my closet. Ironically, cleaning my closet is high on my to do list right now. I hope you do not end up hating me, but the title of this post is a bit of false advertising. By cleaning, I really mean rambling/venting, and by closet, I really mean my mind. Yes, I am really just going to talk about some things I have really been wanting to talk about lately.

So, for starters, I want to vent about my hair. Well, more about my hair quality, and my inability to decide what to do with my hair, and my lack of skills for styling my hair. I had a plan, and then I had a new plan, and that was followed by another plan, and now I have no plan. I wanted to keep my hair red, the bright red, and then I decided that was just too expensive of a plan. So, I actually am loving my natural hair color at the moment (even the few grays that have popped up), so I decided to just get a perm. I don't want tiny poodle curls, but big curls. This is ironic, because I had naturally curly hair, and I spent years stripping the curls out. Now, I want curls, and my hair is this weird mix of straight and wavy. So, then I chickened out about a perm, but did get a curling wand, which I have used once, and I am terrified of it. Then, as much as I love having longer hair, I am tired of all the long hairs covering everything, since my hair falls out at an alarming rate from my medicines. So, I had thought about going short again, but admittedly, I think I look better with longer hair, so I decided against a huge cut. So, here I am with terrible hair, and no plan for improving it. Sigh.

Of course, I know I need to be thankful, because at least I do have hair. I do not even have the huge bald spots I had not long ago. They have filled in. I know I need to appreciate the fact that my medicines have quit making me bald, and it has actually started growing again. So, yes, I should be thankful. I am. I just wish I had some skills, and could make it look at least halfway decent. Really, I feel bad for Gigi, because my dad never taught me hair styling skills, and so I have none to teach her. I also have no ability to give her beautiful hairstyles, and so she is really getting a bad deal. I am hoping as she gets older, and makes closer friendships, some one's mom will teach her (and possibly me) some styling skills, and then we can both have nicer hair. I realize that this is a silly thing to vent about, but well, I really want to go into Spring, and the rest of 2019, with a clean mind, and finish on a very positive note. So, I am literally cleaning out my mind, of all the things I have been bothered by.

So, something that has been bothering me, probably more than anything else, is Gigi. Not her, though we have had some battles recently, but her body. She has never really been sick. Not really sick. It is a blessing really. Of course, she has had her ear troubles, but those are beyond our control. She has never really had any super bad illnesses, until recently, and now she seems to be sick constantly. First she had the flu, and then she had a stomach bug, and then she had this weird week of tummy issues, and then this week she had tummy bug round two. Now, I find myself genuinely worried about her. I have Crohn's, and the issues she has had these last three weeks, have me worried she has Crohn's or something similar. She has been so beyond gassy (burps and toots), and it is unlike anything I have ever witnessed from a human being. She gets teased about tooting in school, and it has her feeling very down, and my heart breaks for her, but mostly I am stressed that something big is up. So, I am hoping to get her in for an appointment this next week, and hopefully we can get to the bottom of it all.

Which brings me to my next topic of upset, school absences. Between my daddy's death and illnesses, she has missed many days of school, and now I am worried she will be forced to repeat Kindergarten or do Summer School. I am really hoping for Summer School. I do not want her held back, due to bad luck. It is not her fault she needed to miss days of school, so we could handle my dad's affairs, and she had no control of her getting sick. I feel bad if her entire school career is impacted by this. So, I am hoping the school and I can come up with a solution, that does not involve her being held back, in this next week. The school year is nearly over, and I am really hoping we can finish strong. She has done so well. Of course, she could do better, and as she grows, I am hoping she does do well, and I hope she really aims for the stars. She has so much potential, and I would love to see her live up to it. Something tells me, she will do really well. I just hope she can stay on track, to finish school with her original class. If she does get held back, we will make the very most of it, and we will use it to her advantage.

Now, I do try to stay away from controversy on my blog and blog's Facebook page, because I tend to rely on my blog to be my happy space, separate from the craziness of life. I like to stay positive and upbeat, but at the same time, I pride myself on always being honest. So, as much as I have being negative, or being controversial around her, I think it is important to not keep stuff too bottled up. Recently, as most people know, I have been having some heart issues. Unfortunately, I am one who stresses with very physical consequences, and as we discovered in 2014, my heart cannot handle me stressing in big amounts. Well, lately, I have been so stressed, and my heart is showing the signs of it all. I do my best to keep myself calm, but in this world these days, it is hard to not stress. I do not live under a rock.

Watch the news for ten minutes, and you will be given so many reasons to stress and be upset. Add to that the stress that my personal life has been handing me, and you get me on the verge of a heart attack. So, I have been letting my stress out, bit by bit. Mostly I vent to Chad or Karen (Baking in a Tornado) or my friend Jessica. Well, today, you guys will get a glimpse into it as well. America's current political climate has my hairs turning gray and my blood pressure rising. I am so disgusted by it all. I am ashamed by basically everything our POTUS says. The blatant lies and incorrect "facts" he spews, are enough to make me want to scream. It is BAD BAD BAD.

Add to all that all the blatant racism I have witnessed, and you really have my stress level at beyond high heights. I do not care where you stand politically, if you are okay with these blatant acts of racism, well, you are an asshole. A disgusting, racist asshole. I have ZERO tolerance for racism. If you are a racist, kindly see yourself out. I do not want you near me, my blog, my life, my family, or even my country. Racism makes my blood boil. I am disgusted by all the racism that has been exposed in recent months. I guess it is good to know it is there, but I just wish it were not there. You would think, that we would all know better now. To think anyone is less of a person, simply because of the color of their skin, and to think they deserve to be killed or treated poorly, in inexcusable. Honestly, I just want to throat punch every racist, and send them on a one way rocket ship to the sun. Bye bye, worthless piece of crap. I hate speaking this way, but it is how I feel. We are all human beings, and we all deserve to be treated well. We do not deserve to be judged, especially not by the color of our skin. The content of our character, the beauty of our souls, the quality of our integrity... Those are the things that matter.

You know what else really upsets me?! People judging others based on who they love. It is really nobodies business. Honestly, if you do not approve of some one's life choices, fine. Just choose not to include them in your life. That is a simple thing to do. What you should not do, is judge or shame people, attack or insult people, or harm people mentally/physically/emotionally. We all deserve common decency. We all deserve to live our lives in our own way, and to be equal, and to not be harmed. Nobody wants to be judged or harmed, but yet people have no problem judging and harming others. It is that golden rule.... Treat other people, the way you want them to treat you. At the end of the day, we all have to deal with the consequences of our life choices, whether they are positive or negative. That is just how it works. So, for us to feel entitled to make our own choices, but to judge and harass others based on their choices, and feeling they are not entitled to live their life as they wish, is ridiculous. You cannot have your cake, and eat it too. You cannot expect to be able to live your own life as you wish, but to deny someone else the same right, simply because you do not like the way they wish to live. Obviously, this is aimed at people who want to deny LGBTQ individuals their right to be considered equal as non-LGBTQ individuals and unworthy of the same basic rights.

I also can say the same, for people who feel women are not entitled to equality and the same rights/benefits/entitlements. Misogyny is something that is right up there with racism, bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia, liars, and sexual predators. We really need to learn to accept others, and to live and let live. It is not our job to judge other people's life choices.

Also, when our "founding fathers" founded this country, they did so for religious freedom and new opportunities. I won't go into the wrongness of America's beginnings. I will say, I am glad we have come as far as we have, but hate that we still have so far we need to go. One of the best things that was done for our country's sake, was the separation of church and state. They wanted our country's citizenry to enjoy religious freedom, but knew we needed law and order. They were also wise enough to realize, to support religious freedom, and to maintain law and order well, we needed to not have churches involved in our government. Well, people these days are all too into forcing religion into our laws/government, and it is going to do so much harm.

If you let one set of religious beliefs into our laws/government, you will need to let them all in. Every single one. Fair is fair. You cannot pick and choose. Believe me, if one gets in, and gets a place at the governmental table (so to speak), every single religion is going to want a seat at the table, and it will happen, whether peacefully or by war. There is no way all religions can peacefully and cohesively exist within a balanced and well maintained government. Our founding fathers knew this, and knew that religion had no place in our government. We deserve religious freedom. We deserve peace. We deserve law and order. We deserve a government that is run for the good of all our citizens. Not just a select few. Not just one type of religious believers. We ALL deserve it. I really hope people come to their senses, and stop trying to force their church's best interest into our laws.

Yes, I am applying this in large part to those currently trying to ban abortion. Women were dying left and right, from backyard abortions. They were dangerous and inhumane. The current system in place for abortions is as safe as possible for the women choosing them. If you ban abortion, it will only cause more women to die. If someone wants/needs an abortion, they will get it. That is just how it works. If you do not want an abortion, or do not believe in it.... Great. You will never get one. However, if someone else wants one, they should be able to safely get one. It is not up to us to make that choice for them. At the end of your life, you will not answer for their choices. They will. So, just live your life making your own choices, and let everyone else safely do the same.

I am personally pro-life. I would not choose to have an abortion. Not even to save my own life. My pregnancy with Gigi was extremely high risk, and it was largely thought I was not going to make it out alive, and it was also believed she may not either. However, I chose to give her the best chance she had, and made it very clear, if ever it came down to her or me, they were to save her. That is me. This is my life. That is my choice. I could just never choose to end my baby's life. I cannot afford another child. I could not give Gigi and Embee and another child a decent life. So, if I got pregnant today, there is no way I would keep the baby. So, would I abort the baby? No. I would put him or her up for adoption. It would kill me, but that is the choice I would make. Despite my own personal beliefs and choices, for my life, I do not feel I have the right to force my beliefs on anyone else. They deserve to make their own choices, and if they choose abortion, they deserve to be able to do it in the safest way possible. Their life, their choice, their business. End of story.

I can only hope that we make the right choices, that are best for our citizenry as a whole, and not just what is in our own best interest. I pray that separation of Church of State stays firm. I pray people come to their senses, and gets their heads our their butts. If this applies to you...So be it. Sorry, not sorry. It is the truth, as I see it. You are welcome to disagree. That is your right. That is what is so beautiful about life. We all have free will and free thought. I respect your right to think whatever you want. I do not have to agree with you. If you are racist or prejudice in any way, the chances of me agreeing with you, are slim to none, but that doesn't change the fact you are entitled to live your life your way.

Bullying has also been weighing on my mind. We all scream about how wrong bullying is, and schools boast about zero tolerance policies, and yet bullying is still happening. I imagine it probably always will. I feel like we could make a lot of improvement though, if we stood our ground against it. Schools need to REALLY have zero tolerance policies, and if a school is slacking, parents need to stand up against the bullying. I know, if I heard a kid at Gigi's school was being bullied, and the school was not combating it strongly, then I would stand with the other parents, and let the school know that zero tolerance means zero tolerance. Gigi is the biggest sweetheart, and sadly, she has been victim of some bullying behavior, but gratefully, it has always been handled well, by the school, and I have really helped Gigi cope with it. I reinforce in her, that she is perfect as she is, and the important people will love her just as she is. 

Sadly, in our world today, I even see adults bullying. Honestly, whether you want to admit it or not, the POTUS does a lot of bullying. I honestly have no idea why nobody has made him stop yet. His wife's platform is anti-bullying, particularly cyber bullying. You think she would get him to stop. Nope. He keeps on going. We really need to adopt a zero tolerance policy, and hold anyone accountable, even if it is someone we love. I definitely would never let Chad or Gigi, get away with bullying, and I would hope they would also hold me accountable. We need to be better, in so many ways, and an end to bullying would be a huge step in the right direction.

I experienced/witnessed the most abhorrent thing on Saturday, and it has also been taking up a lot of space in the closet of my mind. We had our town's Spring Festival this week, and we spent Saturday morning there, volunteering at the booth for the Foster Care program we volunteer with. It was such a lovely day. We met a lot of people, and got to see and pet some awesome dogs, and enjoy some deep fried zucchini. Overall, it was definitely a great morning. Then I went to walk over to our car, so I could bring Gigi to her painting party. 

As I was walking by a tow place around the corner from our house, and right next to where Chad was picking me up, I had the agony of overhearing a conversation between two "men", who were sitting on the sidewalk. They said some of the most heinous things I have heard, though they were oddly similar to something I once heard a politician say. (Fair warning.... The language coming up is abhorrent, and may be offensive. You may want to skip this next bit of this post) They were going on and on about how women want sex. How we are born with these pussies that crave their dicks, and how even if we play hard to get, and throw around the word no, we actually really want it. They harped on it being their duty to give us what we really want, which is our pussies to be fucked over and over by their dicks. Then they spoke at length about training pussies, and how it is best to train pussies starting when they are young. They literally spoke at length about having sex with young girls. I stood around the corner, listening, until I really wanted to go and punch them both.

I did not think that action would get me anywhere. So, I walked across the street, as Chad pulled up, and called 911. I told the dispatcher verbatim what was being said. I told her how they were literally talking about how they would have sex with children, and how if an adult woman said no, they would fuck her anyway, because she was born craving their dick. I was blown off entirely. Half a block from where these men were sitting (at the entry to the town's festival area), was the majority of the police force, just walking around and saying hello to festival goers. However, the dispatcher would not even send one of them over to get these scumbags to disperse. They were sitting at the entrance to a festival full of women and children, in the entry footpath, with women, children, and men walking by. Yet nothing was to be done, because it was totally okay for them to be talking about training children to fuck dick well. 

I mean, thinking about it now, I guess if the POTUS can discuss grabbing women by the pussy, whenever he wants, two scumbags could definitely say basically the same things, as women and children walk past. Sure. Why not? That is the world we live in eh?!

We. Need. To. Do. Better. 

We. Need. To. Be. Better.

For the sake of our future generations, we need to stop this despicable stuff NOW. We need to fight against racism. We need to fight against sexism. We need to fight against corrupt politicians. We need to fight for what is right. We need to stop bullies. We need to stop sexual predators. We need to stop labeling men as champion swimmers, in the titles of articles written about them raping women, and label them as the rapists they are. We need to do better. 

This is the stuff that is bugging me lately. This is the stuff filling up the closet of mind. This is the stuff I am holding in, and that is making me want to explode. 

This stuff is NOT okay, and we need to stand against it. 

We need to stop judging others, and start loving others. We need to be good, honest people, and we need to help our fellow humans. 

We need to realize that just as we want to live our lives however we want, that others just want the same thing. We need to stop trying to force our religion of choice into politics, and we need to stop trying to force our religious beliefs on others, through laws that are clearly in violation, of the much needed separation of church and state.

Most importantly, these people who are doing this, need to realize that if they succeed in getting their religion a seat at the political table, every single other religion will want a seat. If one is allowed in, it is only fair, that all be allowed in. After all, that is keeping with the freedom of religion, which was one of the biggest reasons for the founding of this nation. They need to acknowledge that if one religion is allowed in, they will all want their seat, and wars will be fought to see that it happens. War is never a good thing. 

We need to be better. We need to live our lives, and let others live. 

Okay. I think that is enough cleaning of my closet for now. I have so much more I could say, but I digress.

I hope you all have an amazing week!! 

***EDITED TO ADD: UPDATE. The fact that the dispatcher did not do anything about the two men, really had me upset. I ended up calling and leaving a voice mail for the Chief of Police. I explained what happened  explained the dispatcher did nothing  and requested to speak with her. I told her I feel that there must be something that can be done in these instances. I received a call back from a Sargeant yesterday. Ironically, we volunteer with him, for the Foster Care program, so we know one another. He's in charge of the dispatchers. The Chief forwarded my message to him, as she wasn't happy with hearing what happened. He then got the recording of my 911 call, and listened to it. He apologized to me. He let me know that the dispatcher was spoken to. She was informed that she had wrongly handled my call. She was then trained on how to handle future calls of that nature. He apologized that nothing had been done. He informed me  that at the bare minimum  the officer would have made them leave. He also said in some circumstances arrests could have been made. So, my faith in my town's police department was restored. I'm sad that they got away with their behavior, but I'm relieved to know, if ever I have that terrible experience again, something will be done. Honestly, I was sickened by the entire experience, so getting this progress, is really helping me process it all. ***

Do not forget to check out the rest of this month's Spring Cleaning Blog with Friends posts:

Karen of Baking In A Tornado
Lydia of Cluttered Genius
Stacy of Stacy Sews and Schools
Dawn of Spatulas On Parade
Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments

Friday, April 5, 2019

Chronicles of Jules #SecretSubjectSwap

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week ten awesome bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:
If a TV sitcom were made about your life, what would the theme song sound like? what would the lyrics be? What images would be included in the opening montage?

So, listen, Jenniy of Climaxed always gives amazing subjects. They always make me think and make my mind go on happy journeys. However, every time I am assigned one of her subjects, I never feel like I do it justice, and this time is no exception. This is an amazing question, and I love it! However, I honestly have no clue. I know someone else could come up with lyrics, probably music, and pictures/videos for the montage. I just sit and stare at the screen for hours at a time. This is my third, and finally time, I have sat down to write my post. It is due tomorrow, so I have to come up with an answer. So, to my fellow bloggers, who can do this so much more justice than I.... This is an amazing blog post topic. Please, create a post for your blog in the future, and tag me, so I can enjoy it.

Now, I will tell you right now... A TV show about my life would be pretty darn boring. Thankfully, it is a sitcom and not a follow me around reality show. So, I am hoping I would be able to ad lib a bit, and make it much more interesting. I would also add in events from my past, from the years before my life became extremely boring. I am not complaining. I love my life. I am grateful for it. I have been blessed with some amazing friends and family. 

So, I am guessing that if there were a sitcom about my life, it would be named something like.... The Berghams or Bergham Chronicles or Jules of Denial. LOL I don't know. I would hope it would have some awesome title. The theme song would have to be about the subject matter, which would be me. I have no clue what the music would sound like. All I can think of is the Golden Girls theme, and all Chad can think of is "Bad Boys" from COPS. 

When life gets you down, and you just want to frown,
Call Jules.
Call her!
When things are hard, and you feel like giving up,
Call Jules.
Call her!
When you are bored, and you have nothing to do,
Call Jules.
Call her!

Nope. I don't like it. Though, that is what I hope I am remembered for.... Being a good friend. Someone people can always depend on.

She is an enigma. A person who is a puzzle.
She is your friend. She is Jules.
She is confusing. A walking, talking contradiction.
She is your friend. She is Jules.
She is someone on who you can always depend.
She is your friend. She is Jules.
She is here for you. She will have your back.
She is your friend. She is Jules.
She loves wholeheartedly. She loves unconditionally.
She is your friend. She is Jules.

Nope. I still do not like it. I obviously have no career at being a jingle writer. 

She is always honest, and always real.
She will always have your back.
She will never judge or ridicule.
She will always be there for you.
She will always be kind and show empathy.
She is an original. She is Jules.

Ugh. They keep getting worse and worse.

My dad could do this. He could write the lyrics and set them to music. I wish he were here, and I could have asked for his help.

Hazel eyes shining, lips always smiling.
A friend real and true.
Always there for you.
Never turning her back to you.
Never judging you.
Always being there for you.
Always ready to help. 
Yes, she is genuine.
Never to be underestimated.
She is Jules.

Yes, worse and worse.

She is a mother and a friend.
One on who people can depend.
She is true and real.
One who gives love you can feel.
She is Julesssss.

I quit. I honestly have no idea what the lyrics would be. Something about friendship and honesty. Something about being a mom? I really do not know. When I think about myself, I think about my loyalty and being a mom. I think about how I live my life being honest. I live for being a mom, a friend, and a volunteer. I would probably use the sitcom to bring attention to things I care about. People paying forward blessings, being kind, acceptance for all people, equality for all people, improvement to the Foster Care system, an end to hunger in our country, and my kiddo being loved. I would try to promote ending bullying. I would try to promote improving things in our country. I would have an inclusive cast. I just cannot think of what the theme song lyrics would be. Something about me.

The montage would include pictures and clips of me with my friends and family. It would include videos of me volunteering with my family. I would want to include pics of Gigi as a baby and current. For the baby pic, I think the one of her biting my nose and of her biting my finger. 

Also, for the sake of the sitcom, I would need to get Gigi involved more in our community, so we could entertain folks more. She will be the start of the show, even though it is about my life. Well, really, Gigi and Chad are my life, so it is fitting that she be the star. She will for sure steal the spotlight. She would really make it a must watch TV show. Phew. The pressure is off of me.

I am open to suggestions for my theme song. I would love to have a theme song. I obviously need to work on this more. It will probably take me months or years, but I will come up with something. For sure, my "house" will need to be made so much bigger for the sake of the show. My real house is way too tiny to film in. So, the show could not be completely real to life. I would hope the theme song would be genuine though. I bet Gigi would come up with a great theme song. 

Can I just request that it be a Reggae song? Is that possible?! I think that would be awesome. It would need to be Reggae or Country, if it were going to be a reflection of me. Fingers crossed for Reggae. 

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a drink, and check them all out. See you there:


Friday, March 29, 2019

Mom Life #FunnyFriday

Today’s post is March's Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of
every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants
submits a picture, then we all write five captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture.
Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up
with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Dawn of Cognitive Script. (Thank you, for such a cool pic!!) 

1. Son to Dad: Shouldn't we help her, Pa? 
Dad to son: Nah. She'll figure it all out. She always does. 

2. Mom to son and husband: If y'all had just listened to me, we wouldn't be in this mess. 

3. It was in that moment, Bill realized his prank may have gone too far. 

4. This is not what Bill had anticipated happening, when he told Susan she was such a witch. Oops. 

5. Moms will do ANYTHING for their families. #MomLife 

I hope I made you giggle at least once. If not, it's okay. My fellow bloggers always make funny captions. I hope you enjoy them all. I'll meet you there, after I get more coffee. 

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Holiday Dreaming #MakeUpYourOwnHoliday

It really does seem like there is a national (holi)day for everything. My favorites are probably National Coffee Day (September 29th) and National Peanut Butter Day (January 24th). If you saw me right now, eating my peanut butter and banana sandwich and drinking coffee, while I write this post, I think you would have probably guessed those. Well, there is even a day for making up your own holiday. Today, March 26th, is the day we can all make up our own holiday, and so my blogger friends and I, decided to each create a holiday.

Now, when approaching the idea, I spoke with Karen from Baking in a Tornado, about a particular holiday I wanted to create. It would be highly controversial, and I do not want to bring controversy to my blog. However, during my talk with her, we discussed how the sky is the limit. It is literally create your own holiday, and why not go big? So, while trying to figure out what holiday to invent, I had quite the stroll down Idea Way. There were Manatees, ice cream, pasta dishes galore, coffee, and just about anything else you could imagine. My mind truly went everywhere with this. Let me tell you, there are some amazing possibilities with this topic.

I finally settled on a somewhat dangerous, but mostly safe holiday. Now, since this is my blog, my post, and my holiday, I decided that for the sake of really getting to make any holiday I wanted, that whatever I chose, would be celebrated/honored, without question. I could easily say... Everyone Gets a Million Dollars Day, but unless everyone really gets the money, is it really a holiday?! No, I didn't choose that one, but wouldn't that be awesome?! I told you, there was quite a stroll down Idea Way, done by my mind.

I finally decided on..... National All Politicians Must Speak Only the Complete Truth All Day Long Day. Oh boy. What a day that would be. I chose it, because honestly, I think it is needed. Plus, if they have to all be completely honest on one day, then it will keep them in line the rest of the days, because come National APMSOTCTADL Day each year, they'd be in big trouble otherwise.

However, I have sad news, for some, and for others great news.... I changed my mind. It was a spur of the moment change. Chad had taken the suitcase of important things, I brought home from my Dad's house, out from under our bed, and I had been listening to tapes of my Dad singing and playing the guitar. In the moment, I knew that even though it is totally selfish, and I should really keep politicians honest, with my holiday, I wanted something more for me.

So, I hereby say, I would create National Loved Ones Get to Visit From Heaven Day. Final answer. They could come visit, and we could laugh and talk and hug. We could say the things we did not get to say before they died. We could introduce them to newborn family members. We can be with our loved ones again. That is it. For me, that is what I would do, if I really could make ANY holiday, and it need to be obeyed/honored/celebrated. I know I couldn't really do it, but it sure would be awesome.

My first big contender was National Swim with Manatees Day. I decided the impact might be more harmful than good, so I let it go. That is when I decided I wanted whatever holiday I created to have a positive impact. I think in the end, National LOGTVFH Day would be a positive thing. Especially since, I would write it into the decree, that the relatives that visit cannot do any harm while here. I would not want any revenge or anything happening. Just loved ones spending time with loved ones.

What holiday would you create?! 

Do not forget to go check out what holidays my fellow bloggers came up with! I will meet you there, as soon as I refill my cup.

Karen of Baking In A Tornado
Lydia of Cluttered Genius
Dawn of Spatulas On Parade
Rena of Wandering Web Designer

Friday, March 15, 2019

Never Die Alone #UseYourWords

Welcome to March's Use Your Words challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

glory ~ days ~ shark ~ attack ~ surf and turf ~ gender fluid

It was submitted by: (Thank you for such AWESOME words!! We are a family who LOVES sharks, so these words made me smile!!)

When it comes to Use Your Words posts, I really let the words guide me. I just read my words, and then I somehow form a post. Some posts better than others. This month is different. This month, I knew what I was going to write about. I told myself that no matter what words I was given, I was going to write about the topic I selected. Now, I took one look at my words, and realized that I had made a HUGE mistake. However, I am still going to go with it. So, buckle up, because based on these words, this is going to be one helluva ride, trying to use all these words.

Many years ago, not quite my glory days, but not exactly my worst days, I was battling depression, and most days I was winning the war. I remember I was mad at myself, because I had gone through so much worse, and survived, and here I was barely surviving much less hard times. I guess that was probably when I realized depression makes no sense. At least, not to me. I am sure there are people with big degrees, that probably have a pretty good understanding of depression. I have no big degrees, and I really feel like my only understanding about it, is that I do not understand it.

When someone suffers a shark attack, you can see the injuries and the damage that is done. The wounds with depression are invisible, and they cannot be seen. You can easily be sitting right next to someone fighting depression with every cell of their being, and outwardly, they look amazing and wonderful. I was once told that depression was a silent killer, and it does make sense to me. I know personally, the majority of the times I have battled it, the people around me had no idea. I have a really good poker face, at least where depression is concerned. I think my actual poker face is pretty decent also, but I may be biased.

So, back to many years ago... I had an amazing friend that saved my life. If you ask him, and he knew I was okay with him talking about it, I think he would very humbly tell you that he saved my life once. The reality is that he has actually saved my life numerous times. I do not know if that was his original intention, or if it is just a lucky side effect of what he did for me. 

Somehow, I survived Kateri's death. Actually, I say somehow, as if I do not know how I did it, and that is not entirely true. I survived it, because once I reached absolute rock bottom, and I knew I was going to give up and just kill myself, because the pain of losing my child was just too overwhelming, I walked into the emergency room of the local hospital, and I told them I needed help because I was going to kill myself. My memories are fuzzy after that. I remember being brought into a room, laying down on a hospital gurney. I remember just crying. So. Many. Tears. I remember talking to a nurse. I remember a doctor coming in and being told they were getting me a bed in the psychiatric ward and they would help me. I remember them giving me a shot.

My next memory comes five days later, in the wee hours of the morning, waking up to a phlebotomist drawing my blood. She smiled at me, and said she was shocked to see me awake. I made small talk with her. I think I mostly commented on the fact that I was safe and still alive. She told me that she was glad to see me up, and she would send the nurse right in. The nurse came in, and he brought me up to speed. I had been in the hospital five days at that point. They had kept me pretty heavily medicated, because apparently, any time I was not sleeping, I would wake up and just cry hysterically. So, they decided I needed some rest. Considering I could not remember the last time I had really slept, I think they made a wise choice. 

The first thing I did was shower. As I was showering, I let my thoughts and feeling pour over me. I cried. I scrubbed. I just let it all out, and washed it all away. I spent a few weeks there, getting therapy and creating a plan for my life when I got out. Considering I walked in those emergency room doors unable to even imagine a future, I would say that was a good thing. I spent the next few years living, and creating memories. Some good, some bad. Years of memories I never would have had, had I not went into that emergency room.

Eventually, I met my nemesis Depression again, and that time I did not end up in an emergency room. I ended up in my bed, on the phone with my friend Jay. I told him I was so tired of fighting with depression, especially since it made no sense to me. If I could survive losing Kateri, I should really be able to survive anything. During our conversation, he never judged me. He never told me not to kill myself. He did say that he felt killing myself would be a mistake, but that it was my life, and he really had no right to tell me what to do.

The thing he said that saved my life, that time and various other times, was very simple. He made me promise him that anytime I ever decided I was going to kill myself, I would call him first. He was very adamant that I promise him. He knew that I never break a promise, and will go above and beyond to keep one. He explained to me that he would never judge me, so that I did not need to be worried about telling him. He just needed to know, because he did not want me to die alone. He also did not want my body waiting for days or weeks, to be cared for properly. He told me he also wanted a chance, to just ask me if I was certain that I was doing what I REALLY wanted to do. As long as it was what I REALLY wanted, he would accept my choice, and make sure that I died knowing I was not alone and that I was very much loved.

We talked for hours, until we were both exhausted, and then we went to bed, and picked up the conversation the next day. Some time during that next day, I changed my mind, and I told him that this was not the time. He again made me promise, that whenever the time came, I would absolutely call him. I promised. It is a promise I have kept. It is a promise that saved my life. 

It is a promise I recently made a dear friend of mine make to me. He was going through a rough patch, and he scared the crap out of me, and I remember the conversation I had all those years ago, and I said the same thing to him, that Jay had said to me, and I demanded the same promise. I can only hope, that the promise he made me, helps him as much as the promise I made to Jay helped me.

Jay was really on his A game that day. I think more than he even realized. He kept me talking, which I think really helped. He asked me a million questions, and we had a million mini debates. One that sticks out, what our debate about last meals. He wanted to know what I would want my last meal to be, if I could have ANYTHING. I chose wisely. I wanted a fully stocked salad bar, and I just wanted to eat like five huge salads. If you ask me, it is perfection. He however, chose surf and turf, french fries, and cheesecake. Admittedly, I did not like steaks as much then, as I do now, so I was incredibly unimpressed back then. Also, if you are going to have just one type of potato be part of your meal... How do you choose fries over mashed potatoes?!?! Also, cheesecake?! I can think of at least five desserts better than cheesecake. So, suffice it to say, we spent at least an hour debating last meals, and I spent a good portion of that time laughing.

Laughing is a definite good thing, when you are depressed, especially if it is genuine laughter. Yeah, Jay was so on his A Game that day, and I will forever be grateful.

I have battled depression several times over the years, and I can honestly say, I am grateful to report that the thought of suicide has not come up very often. I guess I am just getting better at battling it. However, anytime it has come to mind, I have immediately remembered my promise to Jay. I can honestly tell you, that promise has saved my life. Every. Single. Time. I know, that before I can end my life, I have to call and talk to Jay. Every time that it has come to that point, I have managed to make myself realize, that is not a call I need to make, nor is it one I want to make. Somehow, some way, I muster up the strength necessary to battle on. 

This past December, I found myself pondering a call to Jay. I ended up calling my doctor instead. I reached out and got the help I needed. I am still sad about my dad being gone, but every day I wake up, and every day I battle the sadness, and every day I get a little bit stronger, and feel a little bit better. I still have these moments, where I forget he is gone, and I think about something I need to call and tell him, and then the realization that I cannot call him crashes over me. Those moments are probably the hardest, but I get through them.

If you are reading this, and you are thinking about suicide, I would love to invite you to reach out to me. I promise you, I will not judge you. I will listen. I will offer any advice I am able to. I will help you get help, if you want it. Most importantly, I will make sure you are not alone. Nobody should be alone, when they are making some of the hardest choices a human being can make.

We are all human beings. I do not care if you are white, black,  Asian, deaf, male, tall, fat, short, skinny, gender fluid, French, female, straight, Catholic, trans, medium height, Baptist, queer, or ANY other type of human being.... You deserve to live. You deserve love. You deserve compassion and empathy. You deserve friendship. You deserve all life has to offer. We are ALL humans, and we are ALL worthy of the goodness life has to offer.

We also deserve to have moments of weakness and doubt. We deserve to be sad. We deserve to struggle to process events that happen to us. We deserve to be human. 

So, if you are struggling with depression, please let me be your Jay. Let me help you to make sure that you are not making the wrong choice. Let me support you. Let me be there for you. Let me listen. 

If you are not comfortable with reaching out to me.... Reach out to the person you are comfortable reaching out to. Reach out to your Jay. 

In the end, I hope you choose to stay. If you don't... I promise I won't judge you. I promise I won't hate you. I promise I will love you fiercely and I promise I will talk to you. I choose to believe the ones we love, who are gone from this Earth, can hear us. So, yes, I will talk to you. Yes, I will love you. Yes, I will let you know that it is okay.

Just, please, do not hesitate to reach out to me. I am here for you, even if I do not know you. Knowing you does not mean anything to me. I know you are a human. I know you are worthy. That is all that matters.

Please, do not forget to check out the rest of this month's Use Your Words posts. I will meet you there, right after I get more coffee. These days, I seem to need all the coffee and then some. 

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

A Woman's Strength #UseYourWords

Welcome to April's Use Your Words blogging challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phr...